|Publication number||US7298269 B2|
|Application number||US 11/202,702|
|Publication date||Nov 20, 2007|
|Filing date||Aug 12, 2005|
|Priority date||Jan 27, 2005|
|Also published as||US20060163339|
|Publication number||11202702, 202702, US 7298269 B2, US 7298269B2, US-B2-7298269, US7298269 B2, US7298269B2|
|Inventors||Tougo Teramoto, Shinichi Ban, Katsuyuki Nanba, Toshihiro Hamamura|
|Original Assignee||Konica Minolta Photo Imaging, Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (5), Referenced by (3), Classifications (10), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is based on the application No. 2005-19761 filed in Japan, the contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference.
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to an image taking apparatus equipped with a plural number of IC tags.
2. Description of the Related Art
In the field of physical distribution management, instead of a bar code label stuck on a commodity, an IC tag by which information transmission through radio communication is possible (which is also called a wireless tag) has become used. As an application of the IC tag, a technology of acquiring information of a photographic subject from an IC tag held by the subject by using a digital camera has been proposed.
On the other hand, IC tags are divided into one type that has not an internal power supply in the IC tag but transmits information memorized in the IC tag by using the energy of the radio wave sent from an external reader/writer (this type is called the passive type hereafter), and another type that has an internal power supply in the IC tag and can actively transmit information memorized in the IC tag (this type is called the active type hereafter).
The passive type IC tag has an advantage in that it can communicate if the power supply of an apparatus having the IC tag malfunctions (when a battery is not loaded, for example), or even if the apparatus is broken. On the contrary, the passive type IC tag has disadvantages in that it generally provides a short communication distance and has a small data capacity to be memorized. Although the active type IC tag has advantages, as compared to the passive type IC tag, in that its communication distance is long and has a large data capacity to be memorized, it is expensive.
Since the active and passive type IC tags having mutually different characteristics have merits and demerits, respectively, it may be reasonable to use both types together in order to utilize advantages of them. However, if both type IC tags are merely used together, a problem may arise that interference occurs by both type IC tags responded to the radio wave from the reader, so that the reader side cannot receive correct information from the IC tags.
In order to solve problems described above, the image taking apparatus comprises: a movable member for moving between a first position and a second position in accordance with a condition of the image taking apparatus; a first IC tag for memorizing information concerning the imaging taking apparatus and that is disposed at a position where is covered with the movable member at said second position and where is not covered with the movable member at said first position; and a second IC tag for memorizing information concerning the imaging taking apparatus and that is disposed at a position where is covered with the movable member at said first position and where is not covered with the movable member at said second position.
In the following description, like parts are designated by like reference numbers throughout the several drawings.
<Structure of the Image Taking Apparatus>
The image taking apparatus 1 is composed as a digital camera, for example, of which a metallic front cover 11 and a metallic rear cover 12 form a housing.
Two apertures H1 and H2 are formed on the front cover 11. The aperture H1 is formed so that it guides the light from a photographic subject to an image taking lens system 30, and a transparent window 13 made from a plastic, for example, is fit on the aperture. Similarly, a transparent window 14 made from a plastic is fit on the aperture H2. Behind the window 14, both a finder 15 and a photoflash 16 are equipped. At the rear side of the window 14, an IC tag T1 which will be described later is stuck between positions of the finder 15 and the photoflash 16.
On the front cover 11, a metallic sliding cover 17 which is movable in the direction of the Y-axis (in
On the upper surface of the image taking apparatus 1, a release button 18 for ordering shooting and a power switch 19 for turning on and off the power supply of the image taking apparatus 1 are equipped.
On the side of the image taking apparatus 1, a grip portion 21 for a photographer to hold the image taking apparatus 1 is formed. The grip portion 21 works as a rid that covers a battery room in the image taking apparatus 1 in which a battery is loaded.
In the image taking apparatus 1, the light from the photographic subject enters into an image sensor 33 through the image taking lens system 30 that is equipped behind the window 13. The image taking lens system 30 has a zoom lens 31 and a focusing lens 32.
The image sensor 33 is equipped with an aperture diaphragm and an image sensing device that is composed as a CCD, for example, and performs photoelectric conversion of the light image of the photographic subject formed by the image taking lens system 30, so as to generate an image signal.
The image signal generated by the image sensor 33 is inputted into an image processor 34. Then, in the image processor 34, processes such as A/D conversion, white balance correction, and gamma correction are performed. The image data processed in the image processor 34 is recorded in a recording medium (a memory card 9, for example) which is detachable to the image taking apparatus 1, or displayed on an LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) 35. By the LCD 35, preview displaying of the photographic subject or replay displaying of the recorded image is possible.
An exposure controller 36 controls the aperture diaphragm in the image sensor 33 and the exposure time of the image sensing device based on the control signal from a general controller 40.
A focus controller 37 drives the focusing lens 32 based on a focus detection result obtained by the general controller 40.
A zoom control portion 38 drives the zoom lens 31 in order to change the focal length of the image taking lens system 30.
An operation portion 39 has the release button 18 and the a power switch 19 both of which are already described, a record/replay mode selection switch equipped on the rear cover 12 (not illustrated), and others, and accepts operational inputs generated by a photographer.
The general controller 40 has a CPU which work as a computer and a memory so that it can totally control each part of the image taking apparatus 1. The general controller 40 also controls information transmission from the IC tag T1 as will be described later.
A power source 41 supplies electric power to each portion of the image taking apparatus 1 by using a battery.
<IC Tags T1 and T2>
The IC tag T1 has a memory portion 50 that is composed as an IC chip and a spiral antenna 51.
The memory portion 50 memorizes information concerning the image taking apparatus 1 and information concerning a user as shown in
The IC tag T1 is an active type one in which a power supply portion 52 with a battery is equipped. The IC tag T1 has advantages, as compared to the passive type IC tag T2 that will be described later, in that it enables long distance communication and in that information volume memorized in the memory portion 50 is large. Further, the IC tag T1 memorizes information that becomes necessary when connected with a network and the like.
The IC tag T1 can, by using a control signal from the general controller 40 that is electrically connected to the power supply portion 52, select whether information transmission from the antenna 51 is carried out or not.
The IC tag T1 is equipped at the position where it is covered by the sliding cover 17 when the sliding cover is at the nonuse position P2 (in
The IC tag T2 has a memory portion 60 that memorizes information concerning the image taking apparatus 1 as shown in
The IC tag T2 is equipped at the position where it is covered by the sliding cover 17 when the sliding cover is at the use position P1 (in
Operation of the image taking apparatus 1 having the IC tags T1 and T2 which have mutually different characteristics is described in the following.
<Operation of the Image Taking Apparatus 1>
At the step S1, whether the power supply of the image taking apparatus 1 has been turned on or not by the action of a photographer on the power switch 19 is judged. When the power supply is turned on, after the sliding cover 17 is moved to the use position P1 shown in
At the step S2, the power source 41 supplies electric power to the inside of the image taking apparatus 1.
At the step S3, information transmission by the IC tag T1 is performed. More specifically, the general controller 40 activates the transmission function of the IC tag T1 so that information memorized in the memory portion 50 (refer to
At the step S4, usual shooting, replay of recorded photographed images, and others are performed by the image taking apparatus 1.
At the step S5, whether the power supply of the image taking apparatus 1 has been turned on or not by the action of the photographer on the power switch 19 is judged. When the power supply is turned off, after the sliding cover 17 is moved to the nonuse position P2 shown in
At the step S6, information transmission by the IC tag T1 is stopped. More specifically, the general controller 40 deactivates the transmission function of the IC tag T1.
At the step S7, electric power supply to the inside of the image taking apparatus 1 is stopped.
At the step S8, information transmission by the IC tag T2 is performed. More specifically, information memorized in the memory portion 60 of the IC tag T2 (as shown in
Through operation described above, when the image taking apparatus 1 is not in use where the power supply is turned off, communication only by the passive type IC tag T2 becomes possible. On the other hand, when the image taking apparatus 1 is in use where the power supply is turned on, the IC tag T2 is covered by the metallic sliding covers 17, so that communication only by the active type IC tag T1 becomes possible. Namely, since the sliding cover 17 that covers the image taking lens system 30 moves only to one of two positions alternatively between the use position P1 (in
An example of information transmission systems to which the image taking apparatus 1 as described above is explained next.
While the information transmission system 7 is equipped with the image taking apparatus 1 described above, it is also equipped with a digital television (DTV) 70 that is connected to the image taking apparatus 1 for communication through a network NW, a LAN, for example.
The DTV 70 is equipped with a display screen 71, as well as a reader 72 that can read information stored in the IC tags T1 and T2. For the DTV 70, when the image taking apparatus 1 is in operation, the IC tag T2 is covered by the sliding cover 17 as described already, so that information only from the IC tag T1 can be acquired.
According to the information transmission system 7 described above, after the DTV 70 has acquired and identified information concerning network connection (such as a user ID and a password as shown in
When a plurality of image taking apparatus 1 that are equipped with a plurality of IC tags T1 and T2 exist in the neighborhood of the DTV 70, the DTV 70 may receive information from the plurality of image taking apparatus, which produces interfere. In such a case, in order to avoid interference, it is necessary to choose the image taking apparatus with which the DTV 70 should communicate. Thus, in the information transmission system 7, by turning on the power supply of the image taking apparatus 1 that should be communicated with and by opening its sliding cover 17, while by turning off power supplies of unnecessary image taking apparatus 1 that should not be communicated with and by closing their sliding covers 17, it becomes possible for the DTV 70 to communicate only with the IC tag T1 of the image taking apparatus 1 of which the power supply is turned on, enabling the solution to the interference problem. For example, if information concerning network connection is memorized in the IC tag T1, only the image from the specified image taking apparatus 1 can be replayed by the DTV 70.
According to the structure and the operation of the image taking apparatus 1 as described above, since information transmission of one of the two IC tags is disabled by the sliding cover that is opened or shut when the image taking apparatus is in use or not in use, interference in information transmission caused by a plural number of IC tags can be prevented. Since the image taking apparatus is equipped also with the passive type IC tag, even when the active type IC cannot communicate, in such a case as a battery is not loaded in the image taking apparatus or the image taking apparatus fails, it is possible for the external reader that is equipped, for example, in test equipment of a service center, to read camera identifying information that is required for image taking apparatus repair and the like.
According to the image taking apparatus in the embodiment described above, the power supply is turned on and off by the power switch 19. However, the power supply may be turned on and off in synchronization with opening and closing of the sliding cover. That is, a structure may be used wherein the power supply is automatically turned on when the sliding cover 17 is at the use position P1 as shown in
The IC tag T1 in the embodiment described above receives electric power from the power supply in the IC tag T1. However, the IC tag T1 may receive electric power from the power source 41 in the image taking apparatus 1 (in
Two IC tags T1 and T2 in embodiments described above are the combination of the active type and the passive type. However, type combination is not limited to the above, and two types of IC tags having mutually different frequency characteristics may be used instead. In this case, since the communication distance varies according to the frequency used, the frequency applied to the IC tag which can communicate when the image taking apparatus 1 is in use and in which information required for network connection is memorized may be set higher than the frequency applied to the other IC tag. Thereby, long distance communication becomes possible, so that convenience for network connection can be raised.
In the embodiments described above, the status of each of IC tags T1 and T2 is switched between exposed and covered. As a movable member, the sliding cover 17 (in
According to these embodiments, interference by a plurality of IC tags can be prevented.
Since a plurality of IC tags having mutually different characteristics are used, a proper choice of the plurality of IC tags according to the operation status of the image taking apparatus, in use or not in use, becomes possible.
Furthermore, according to these embodiments, equipment space can be reduced by utilizing such members as the lens cover, and since communication by the IC tag covered by the metallic lens cover is shielded, interference can be prevented perfectly.
Although the present invention has been fully described by way of examples with reference to the accompanying drawings, it is to be noted that various change and modifications will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Therefore, unless otherwise such changes and modifications depart from the scope of the present invention, they should be construed as being including therein.
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|U.S. Classification||340/572.1, 340/572.8, 235/492, 340/686.1, 348/207.99|
|Cooperative Classification||G03B29/00, G03B17/02|
|European Classification||G03B29/00, G03B17/02|
|Aug 12, 2005||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: KONICA MINOLTA PHOTO IMAGING, INC., JAPAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:TERAMOTO, TOUGO;BAN, SHINICHI;NANBA, KATSUYUKI;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:016893/0808;SIGNING DATES FROM 20050620 TO 20050702
|Jun 27, 2011||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Nov 20, 2011||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|
|Jan 10, 2012||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 20111120